Marching to Valhalla; A Novel of Custer's Last Days
New York: Villard, 1996. First Edition [stated]. Hardcover. , 288,  pages. Michael Lennox Blake (July 5, 1945 – May 2, 2015) was an American author, best known for the film adaptation of his novel Dances with Wolves, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He began writing when he was stationed at Walker Air Force Base, where he wrote for the base newspaper. He studied journalism at the University of New Mexico, and later studied at a film school in Berkeley, California. He also attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. In the late 1970s he moved to Los Angeles; during the 1980s only one of his screenplays was produced, called Stacy's Knights. The movie starred Kevin Costner, who later encouraged him to continue to write, and introduced him to key figures in the Hollywood Industry. Dances with Wolves was the result; Kevin Costner then asked him to write a screenplay for the film based on the novel. He went on to do humanitarian work, and continued to write. Derived from a Kirkus review: A dazzling depiction of George Armstrong Custer on the way to his rendezvous with death at the Little Bighorn. The resonant narrative is cast in the form of a first-person journal kept by the martial wunderkind during the period from May 18 through the morning of June 25, 1876. While pondering the campaign on which he's embarked, Custer recalls the glory of his Civil War service, the bitterness of occupation duty in a conquered South, and the cutbacks in America's military that reduced him in rank from a brevet major general to captain. The deterministic Custer reminisces as well about his instant redemption as victor over a large band of Cheyenne in a bloody midwinter engagement on the banks of the Washita River. Custer cherishes honor and glory and at the close he marches out to embrace his fate on a summer's morn in Montana. A tour de force that sympathetically brings one of American history's more intriguing heroes vividly to life on the eve of his destruction. Condition: Very good / Very good.
Keywords: George Armstrong Custer, Seventh Cavalry, Sioux, Cheyenne, Washita, Little Big Horn, Massacre, Indian Wars, General Custer, Civil War, Military Occupation